Now that summer is behind us, most of us do not have to worry about heat rashes or sweat rashes. However, some people are prone to excessive sweating all year round. In winters, people who wear heavy woolen clothes could also experience blocked sweat glands and subsequent sweat rashes. Babies are especially prone to miliaria or heat rashes in winters on account of being wrapped up tightly in sweaters and blankets. Some people also suffer from night sweats or cold sweats, a condition common in women during menopause or due to other underlying health issues. Excess sweating under the armpits and the groin area can lead to ugly red rashes which are itchy and sometimes painful. Pregnant women also suffer from sweating on the face, underarms, beneath the breasts, in the folds of the skin between the thighs or elbows and so on.
Let us study some ways to prevent excess sweating.
Eat a cooling diet
Hot, spicy and rich food comprising of red meat, sugar and refined flour is one of the main causes of heat in the body that can lead to excessive sweating. Choose the following foods to cool and cleanse the body:
- Sweet, juicy fruits like melons, plums and peaches
- Include plenty of vegetables like collards, kale and asparagus. These are astringent vegetables that clear the body off toxins to prevent all kinds of skin problems including sweat rashes.
- Include digestion-aiding spices like fennel, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Add these to your soups and stews.
- Limit your intake of greasy, spicy and hot foods. In winters, you may drink warm soups and stews. Also herbal teas are great but do not drink them very hot.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages and limit your intake of alcohol. These stimulants could cause excess sweating.
- Drink plenty of water especially in winters. Many people forget to drink water when the weather turns cool. This causes toxic waste to accumulate in the body.
- Keep a food journal to identify which foods cause excess sweating.
Change your clothes frequently
Change your socks, underclothes and workout clothes immediately and wash them regularly to curb bacterial growth. Wear socks made with natural fibers and opt for leather shoes but take them off often.
Avoid crowded areas
Avoid stressful situations and crowded areas as far as possible if they are the reasons for excessive sweating.
Make certain lifestyle changes
- If you sleep with a room heater on, it could be one of the reasons why you may be breaking out in sweat at night. Try running a humidifier to counter the dryness or turn up the thermostat a bit.
- Avoid swaddling yourself in blankets and sweaters. Wear loose cotton nightwear. You must especially avoid wearing polyester or other synthetic fibers since they trap the heat and make sweating worse.
- Follow a routine-go to bed at the same time every day.
- Eat small, regular meals. Do not follow any crash diets.
- Wear comfortable clothes when exercising. Shower imediately after workout.
Take a cool bath
This is one of the best remedies to prevent excess sweating naturally. Avoid hot baths and go for warm or tepid baths. In winters too, you must use warm water for bathing since excess heat could dry the skin and aggravate sweat rashes.
Use antiperspirant deodorant to reduce excess sweating and body odor. Do not use on underarm rashes.
Apply calamine lotion
Calamine lotion can soothe sweat rashes and cool the skin. You may use this all year round especially if the excess sweating causes itchiness under the armpits.
Tight clothes can aggravate the sweat rash. Where possible, wear comfortable clothes. You can apply some powder to reduce itching and irritation.
Do not apply heavy creams or ointments
Heavy creams and ointments can further clog up the skin pores and aggravate the sweat rash. Instead, use some cooling aloe vera gel which helps moisturize, heal and soothe irritated skin.
Use hydrocortisone cream
Over the counter hydrocortisone cream can soothe irritated and itchy skin that is typical in a sweat rash. Avoid using these creams for more than 2 days as they could get absorbed by the skin.
Comforting babies suffering from sweat rashes
Avoid swaddling the baby in tight woolen clothes. Loosen up the clothes but do not undress the baby completely as it could lead to shivering.Allow the baby’s body to naturally warm itself. If the sweat rash is in the diaper area, let the baby go without wearing one. Bathe the baby once a day with warm water. Pat its skin dry and apply soothing zinc based cream or lotion to soothe the skin. Avoid subjecting the baby to sudden temperature changes.
Sweat rashes can occur all year round. Use these tips to avoid excessive sweating and stay cool!